Seven Santa Monica High School students from the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) and their two teacher/advisors took third place worldwide, representing the United States in the 2008 SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) World Cup Competition in Nigeria.

Team Nigeria took the first place title, with South Korea coming in second and Team Singapore taking fourth place.

The Santa Monica High School SAGE team, represented by students Alberto DePablo, Jessie Chan, Tenzin Chodak, Sonam Chodak, Jasmine McClain, Monica Choo and Jane Beck, along with teacher/ advisors, Teri Jones and Anita Kemp, recently won the 2008 state championship, which was the third consecutive year the team has taken this title.

At the end of May, the team captured the SAGE national title in Cincinnati, Ohio, qualifying it to compete for the United States in the World Cup Competition in Nigeria.

“This year’s SAGE group put Santa Monica High and our entire school district on the world map,” said school board president Oscar de la Torre. “They exemplify our vision of creating a world-class public school system. The students, Samohi staff and parents deserve credit for a job well done.”

In each of its competitions, the student team had 15 minutes to present a multimedia presentation and five minutes of questions and answers to convince the 70 judges that Santa Monica met the necessary ten criteria.

Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship is an international nonprofit organization that links secondary school student organizations to mentors from local universities and businesses. Its purpose is to advance youth business and social entrepreneurship in an ethical and socially responsible manner.

Students worked all year on their projects, which included:

— work with teacher Ben Kay and his Team Marine for an environmental project on ensuring a city ban on single use plastic bags;

— Tote-a-lly Awesome, a tote bag company that aims to help the environment, donates to three social causes and promotes both school and city spirit;

— the Vikes Inn & Cafe, the high school’s venture continuing business, which is a model practice, promotes school loyalty, scholarships and healthy habits;

— Santa Monica High’s Global Projects, which include the second Annual International Day, educating 400 students on the global economy and the continuing Soiree Locations, the Virtual Enterprise business, which reacts to the fluctuating global monetary valuations; and

— Civic Engagement projects, which included partnering with ASB and the League of Women Voters to educate and create a mock election; and

— lobbying state legislators on behalf of the Regional Occupational Program in Sacramento and for environmental and business concerns.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education honored the team at a May meeting, at which student Alberto De Pablo reflected that the program has helped him learn a lot about business, including how businesses are becoming more environmentally conscience.

He also noted that previous SAGE winners return to help mentor current teams.

Travel expenses for the team came from private fundraising, a contribution from the Santa Monica Kiwanis Club and the City of Santa Monica.

The SAGE team’s trip to Nigeria lasted for nearly a week. During their off-hours, team members were treated to cultural exchange and other opportunities.

Information, the team’s blog at http://samosage2008.blogspot .com.

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